Pearl Consulting focuses on delivering mutual benefit for corporate, non-profit and government partners through the strategic deployment of social impact initiatives. We are a forward-thinking, global organisation, innovating where appropriate to tap on new opportunities. This is why we’re particularly excited about our work relating to the metaverse and its potential for driving positive change. Furthermore, it may prove to be a strategic pathway to advancing some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

We are aware that the metaverse is something of a new frontier in the fast-paced world of technological change and want to share our insights from our work in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Indonesia to inspire others who are curious about stepping into this space.

Firstly, we’d like to demystify the metaverse. It refers to an “embodied internet”, a fully realised digital world, described as the next version of the internet. It is a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that represent what the next iteration of the internet could become. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, commented that “where instead of just viewing content — you are in it….it’s about being engaged more naturally.”

Leveraging the metaverse to achieve SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

The UN SDGs are an important strategic framework and a blueprint for addressing the world’s most critical issues. Currently, in a post-pandemic world and with economic recovery being a top priority for many nations, SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth is more important than ever.

The SDGs need a range of different approaches to effectively achieve them. Leveraging the metaverse presents an innovative opportunity to move forward, although it is still completely on point in terms of meeting the common objective of SDG8, which is to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.

At Pearl Consulting, we’re building on our already established approach of working with clients through strategic partnerships to support economic development and digital literacy for marginalised and underserved communities. For example, our training programmes are localised, both in terms of language and being culturally appropriate, to ensure that they resonate with the target audience. This concept translates well into the metaverse where, once again, training content for creators is localised in a comparable way (it was previously written almost exclusively in English). Our goal for SDG8 is that, through our interventions collaborating with our client and other partners, the metaverse will present an inclusive economic opportunity for many, many people.

The role of SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals

However, without collaboration with key stakeholders, much less could be achieved. One of our strengths is the focus on building meaningful relationships with all stakeholders, which aligns with SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals, described as being to “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. Our work around partnerships enables us to work simultaneously at the regional, national and local level, with multisector colleagues in other organisations who have a keen understanding of the issues faced and potential solutions at every level and every step of the way. Again, effective partnerships is proving to be a vital mechanism in driving positive social impact in the metaverse.

The other two articles in this series will give an overview of our work towards SDGs 8 and 17 through the metaverse in two different geographies: firstly, Latin America and the Caribbean and secondly, Indonesia in Asia Pacific.

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